Eat fat get thin?
This week a study was published by The National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration claiming that in order to get thin, we need to eat more fat. Sounds crazy, right?
There is so much conflicting advice surrounding dieting and eating healthy that it’s no wonder the majority of us don’t really know what we’re doing. So how exactly do we navigate the confusion surrounding dietary advice? And is fat really good for us?
Eat fat get thin? Not exactly…
As much as I’d love it if that was the case, I’m afraid we have not just been given a license to have a fry up for breakfast, a burger and fries with a milkshake for lunch then a pizza for dinner, topped off with an ice cream sundae for dessert.
Rather, the report is encouraging people to go back to eating whole foods, such as meat and full-fat dairy, instead of their low-fat replacements. Think butter instead of margarine, full-fat milk instead of skimmed, and snacking on healthy fat-rich foods such as eggs and avocado.
The reason for this is that when fat is removed from food the item must then be pumped full with sugar to make up for this. This will then trigger a sugar crash after a couple of hours, sending you searching for your next sugar fix. Eating fat from whole sources will not only keep you fuller for longer, it’s also vital in ensuring your hair, skin and nails look and stay healthy.
However moderation is key here!
Fat in moderation is good. Eating a full block of cheddar for lunch, not so much. And while fat is not the devil, neither are carbs, nor even sugar for that matter. It’s only when we eat too much of any one of these things that they become a problem.
With the recent craze in ‘Clean Eating’, we have seen whole food groups demonised, with emotive language such as “evil” and “toxic” used to describe food. And as food cannot be evil (unless they have been imbued with morals without me realising) the real implication is that anyone not “eating clean” is therefore ‘unclean’ and bad.
It’s important to remember that eating one slice of cake is not going to make you fat, just as one green smoothie will not make you thin. Choosing a burger does not make you a bad person, just as opting for the salad does not make you a good person.
Ultimately, a healthy diet is one that is balanced and where a person eats from all food groups. Whole foods will better nourish and feed your body than processed, ready meals. Healthy fat will sustain you longer than your sugar fix. Protein is needed to maintain and restore muscles. And carbohydrates (some of which come from sugars) are vital for energy.
So the simple answer is no, eating fat will not make you thin, but as long as you’re not eating too much of it, it won’t make you fat, either.
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